Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, March 4

: There doesn’t appear to be much value on the card early so look to the end of the card.


Race 6 – SA        

#4 Devils Informer (8-1) 

Broke his maiden at Del Mar at first asking, but hasn’t been seen since. Has been moved from trainer Mike Puype to Phil D’Amato, who is 28% with horses off a 180-plus-day layoff. Jockey Edwin Maldonado jumps on and he is 45% with D’Amato at Santa Anita.


Race 7 – SA

#1 Chocolatier (5-1) (turf only)

Was last seen on the East Coast for trainer Chad Brown. Now has been moved to trainer Blaine Wright, who is 20% with horses off a 61-180-day layoff. This mare has speed, which has done very well on this turf course. Jockey Tyler Baze is 2-for-4 with Wright at Santa Anita.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Sunday, Feb. 7

Preview: Early first post and only eight races on the biggest football day of the year. Keep an eye on apprentice jockey David Lopez, who has been riding lights out lately and the bigger outfits are finally starting to take notice. Give his horses extra consideration.


Race 1: #5 Tinderette (turf only) (12-1) 

Trainer Jeff Mullins is 26% with horses running for the first time on the grass. This filly showed a little speed in her debut and now tries going long, Mullins takes the blinkers off and jockey Tyler Baze stays on. The sire More Than Ready is 13% first time turf.


Race 2: #2 Moments Notiz (5-2) 

It took a while but East Coast-based trainer David Jacobson finally hit the winner’s circle this week. He brought this gelding West and drops him to his lowest leverl and gets Rafael Bejarano to ride. Jacobson is 22% second off the layoff and this 8-year-old is 21-10-3-4 at 6 furlongs.


Race 8: #8 Back Street Cat (12-1)

This filly has improved with each outing and at these bottom level maiden claiming races wacky things can happen. Trainer Felix Gonzalez is 23% third off the layoff.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Gulfstream Park, Horse racing, Los Alamitos, Monmouth Park

Los Alamitos (plus a few others) opinions for Sunday, July 5

Race 3: #1 Sheza Eyeopener (5-1)

This 5-year-old mare won over this course three times last year in four tries. She returns to the dirt from the turf for trainer Rafael Becerra, who is 2-for-9 with the move. Jockey Martin Garcia keeps the mount.


Race 8: #3 Ultimate Holiday (5-1)

Jockey Jimmy Graham makes his debut in SoCal today and rides this daughter of Harlan’s Holiday. The 3-year-old filly ran a creditable third over the track a year ago and trainer Richard Baltas is a 23% trainer this year.



Race 10: #6 Red Vine (3-1) *****

This 5-year-old broke his maiden on the turf at Del Mar a few years back and this year trainer Christophe Clement switched to the dirt and just like that he is 3-for-3. This horse is moving up the ladder  and think a win here propels him to Del Mar’s $1 million Pacific Classic. Likes to stay just off the pace and punce in the stretch. “Jersey” Joe Bravo retains the mount.


Race 11: #8 Ashleyluvssugar (5-1)

SoCal-based trainer Peter Eurton switched this 4-year-old gelding to going long on the turf this year and discovered a star with a perfect 3-for-3. Eurton skipped the closing weekend San Juan Capistrano at Santa Anita to run here and Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens retains the mount for this closer .



Race 10: #10 Nesso (20-1)

A long time ago, this filly broke her maiden in Southern California, but now runs on the East Coast. She is versatile, running on the front end or from off the pace. Think the pace could be hot here for look for jockey Jesus Rios to be closing in the lane. She ran well over this track a year ago. Beware.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Pimlico, Triple Crown

Pimlico Race Course opinions for Saturday, May 16

The Pimlico is here and I’m not going to try to re-invent the wheel. I still think the West Coast horses are the best so here are my picks:

#8 Firing Line (4-1)

#1 American Pharoah (4-5)

#2 Dortmund (7-2)

#5 Tale of Verve (30-1)

Comment: I’m sticking with Firing Line and hope jockey Gary Stevens can get him to switch leads down the lane this time.


Here are some other races on the card:

Race 1: #7 Mafia Muscle Man (turf only) (6-1)

Trainer Larry Rivelli is based in Chicago, yet he picks this spot for this 2-year-old to make his debut. He also owns the colt and the sire Lewis Michael is 15% with first-time turfers. Rivelli is 27% with first-timers and gets Javier Casellano to ride. Play an exacta box with #8 FINNEGAN (6-5), who is supposed to be trainer Wesley Ward’s next big Ascot thing.


Race 3: #10 Chiropractor (7-2)

Trainer Tom Proctor is going to have a barn on the East Coast based near Pimlico and starts this Kitten’s Joy first-timer on the turf, where the sire is 17% first-time turf. One of Proctor’s West Coast jockeys, Drayden Van Dyke, rides, but they have been cold lately.


Race 6: #2 Hooligan (4-1)

Trainer Wesley Ward is almost an automatic play in a 5-furlong turf sprint and here he gets jockey John Velazquez aboard (22% together).


Race 9: #1 Bocaouva (8-1), #8 Watsdachances (6-1), #9 Token of Love (5-1).

One of the toughest races on the card, BOCAOUVA had a ton of trouble in her last race and drawing the No. 1 hole here is no bargain. Will use all three in all vertical bets.


Race 10: #7 Gimme Da Lute (3-1)

Trainer Bob Baffert is an amazing 39% with horses going sprint-route-sprint and that’s what this 3-year-old does after finishing third to Competitive Edge in the Pat Day Mile on Derby Day.


Race 12: #10 Manchurian High (turf only) (15-1)

Jockey Gary Stevens doesn’t need to ride every race so he must have gotten a good story on this gelding to ride for little-known trainer Lilli Kurtinecz. The 7-year-old has won twice over this Pimlico turf course and will be charging down the lane. He also comes out of a key race with three next out winners. This is one of tougher races on the card so go for a price.